The critic Pauline Kael back in the Eighties drew a bead on the fantastically acclaimed Meryl Streep, observing that the actress “makes a career out of seeming to overcome being miscast.” That annoying habit of Steep’s was still evident yesterday, when she cast herself as the moral conscience of all showbiz and turned her acceptance of the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes ceremony into her personal political soapbox.
Streep picked a favorite enemy for Hollywood leftists to agree on — she described him as “asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country” — and castigated him for bullying people without the ability to fight back. The role didn’t suit an actress lately known for making the worst films of the past two years, Suffragette (2015) and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), which can be said to bully audiences who buy tickets to her whims but have no ability to fight back. She pretended to defend the Golden Globes’ career-boosting ceremony (sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, an organization that the FCC once prohibited from network television because of its corruption), using its name to represent the virtues of “Hollywood” diversity, “foreign” personnel, and First Amendment freedom of the “press.”
It was rich to see Streep, impersonator and belittler extraordinaire, condemn her phantom enemy for cruel imitation. She has become the most overrated actress of our times, making unstoppably arrogant attempts at doing everything and being anyone — a narcissist’s peculiar form of demagoguery.
Kael noted Streep’s tendency to overestimate both her own talent and the public weakness for a performer’s ostentatious ego. That side of her character made her Golden Globes behavior inappropriate and uncalled for. Like so many people deranged by the recent challenge to their political will (“I have lost my mind sometime earlier this year,” she said, describing disappointment and feigning hoarseness at the beginning of her diatribe), Streep couched her pettiness in moralistic terms, accusing her presumed enemy of lacking empathy.